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Downhill Bikes

First Look – Vitus Dominer DH

A solid spec and great value - your entry ticket into downhill riding

At just shy of £2400, the Vitus Dominer is one of the most affordable DH bikes on the market and competes with the aluminium YT Tues and the Norco Aurum. Does a bike at this price have what it takes and are there any compromises?

We’ve been impressed with the designs from Vitus, and over the last few years they’ve earned slots in our yearly Dirt 100 picks. The Vitus Escarpe Pro trail bike scored a place in 2016 and the longer travel Sommet was a pick in the 2017 Dirt 100. With a solid spec, good sizing and an engaging ride quality, the Vitus brand seems to offer a lot for the money. So how does their Dominer DH bike shape up?

DESIGN DETAIL

Vitus say they take ‘The best attributes from the well regarded Sommet platform and add more travel and a downhill specific tubeset to create the ultimate race ready DH rig.’ Historically, this European brand were early pioneers of aluminium frames and it seems that this frame material is still high on the priority list with Vitus.

The Dominer’s frame is constructed from triple butted 6061 T6 aluminium tubing, with tidy welding and neat detailing. Cable routing is external and easy to work on, yet out of harm’s way. There’s plenty of hydoforming and shaping of the tubeset, the standover height is kept low and the pierced seat tube design is well finished too. The Vitus has 200mm of rear travel and the suspension layout they employ is a classic Horst link design but add in a horizontal floating shock mount and a large 15mm main axle with Collet lock security.

With only one Dominer model in the range it’s a RockShox Vivid R2C coil shock controlling the rear end. This frame design will expose the shock to more debris from the rear wheel though, as with the Propain Spindrift, which may be a concern for some riders in wetter climates like the UK. Vitus list the weight at 16.2kg/35.7lbs for a medium size Dominer.

GEOMETRY AND SIZING

With three frame sizes (S, M, L) available, Vitus suggest that riders from 5’0” to 6’3” should fit this bike. Our six foot test riders are usually pushing the top end of most size ‘Large’ bikes however and often calling for more room in the cockpit.

On the largest Dominer, which runs on 27.5” wheels, this equates to a reach of 450mm and a wheelbase just shy of 1252mm. Chainstay length is 445mm on all three sizes. By comparison an aluminium YT Tues in ‘Large’ runs 440mm reach, 435mm chainstays and sits on a 1226.4 mm wheelbase. The Vitus has a 63° head angle whereas the YT measures a slightly steeper 63.5°.

So the Dominer shows promising geometry and sizing figures – good to see on an affordable DH bike and comparable with some of our benchmark bikes in this category.

SPECIFICATION

With a mid range RockShox BoXXer Team and Vivid R2C shock the Vitus has great foundations for a capable gravity bike. A very solid and complete Shimano Zee spec (both transmission and brakes) follows this well and gives truly excellent value. Broad WTB tubeless compatible rims, Maxxis rubber and a quality MRP chain device show attention to detail. This Dominer DH is sorted from the start.



FRAME: 200mm travel, triple butted 6061 T6 aluminium

FORK: RockShox BoXXer Team

REAR SHOCK: RockShox Vivid R2C

TRANSMISSION: Shimano Zee

CRANKSET: Shimano Zee 34T

BRAKES: Shimano Zee

WHEELSET: Novatec/WTB ASYM i29 TCS

TYRES: Maxxis High Roller II

HANDLEBAR: Nukeproof Warhead

STEM: Nukeproof Direct Mount

SADDLE: Nukeproof Vector DH Comp

SEATPOST: Nukeproof Warhead Inline

PRICE: £2399.99

vitusbikes.com

 

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